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Google Camera App

This App Turns Android Phones Into SLR Cameras

Slapping on any old Instagram filter is easy. Adjusting contrast and saturation . . . that's a little bit more difficult. But adding that dramatic macro-effect lens blur? That's hard for any photography app to do successfully and subtly.

The newly updated Google Camera App (free) for Android phones has a new feature called "Lens Blur" that required a lot of research and engineering to get just right. The result is shallow depth of field perfection.

The Google Camera app works a bit differently than a professional-grade SLR lens, obviously. In the app, users edit the lens blur effect after the photo is taken. Change the focal point and level of blur with the postprocessing editor.

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How does Google Camera create such a refined, subtle macro effect? A new post from the Google Research Blog explains the algorithms that work to simulate a larger lens, estimating the distance of every point in the scene. The team even took a page from the 3D mapping technology from Google Maps Photo Tours and Google Earth!

So go forth, and create the dreamy, ethereal selfie you've always wanted.

Source: Google Research

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